3 simple moves for morning back relief
Sherwin Nicholson | Updated Dec 2, 2020
Stretching your lower back and hips is the BEST solution for relief
If you’re struggling to physically get up out of bed to start the day because of lower back pain, you’re not alone. Millions of people have this very problem. It’s not easy to find the right solution but there are some simple but very effective things you can do every morning.
It’s 3 movements that your body needs to adjust to so that you can feel better. They only require about 1 minute each to do and are quite safe and easy. In fact, the more you get used to doing them, the easier it will be for you each morning.
Master the 3 simple movements that your body needs so that you can sleep better.
The pandemic has made it very difficult to get the same level of physical activity as we previously had. Because we are lying down and sitting much more frequently and with less access to gyms or other physical fitness centers, we need to be more vigilant as to how we can minimize discomfort when we sleep.
Overcoming the morning battle
Overnight, your body becomes stiffer, tighter and more inflamed (tissue and joint swelling). It’s the inflammation that your own body initiates as its’ natural repair process and response to heal any injury or soft tissue damage to your back, muscles, spine, hips etc.
But this process also leads to swollen joints, inflamed tissue, and most of all the pain and stiffness you feel whenever you wake up. Most likely it’s whats waking you up in the first place!
So your morning struggle is two-fold: pain from your back issues AND pain from the inflammatory repair as well.
Most of us just endure this morning discomfort until it gets better which can take hours. This makes for a very miserable bathroom ritual, breakfast and drive to work!
The sooner that you can release this tension, discomfort and bring it under control, the better your morning, the happier you’ll be, and more productive your day will become.
3 Exercises/moves to change your day for the better
Note: Please get consent from your Health Professional before trying any of these exercises. If you suspect that you may have any underlying disc, vertebral or nerve conditions, please seek help prior.
1 The Kneeling Bow Rest (up to 1 min)
This simple position while still in bed only takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute to benefit you.
It helps to immediately release that very tight arch in your lower back. This especially gets worse overnight and makes standing up first thing in the morning difficult.
It also, gets your hips actively flexed and stimulated so they can respond more for you as you begin to stand and walk around.
The goal is to try to tuck your tummy against your thighs and to hold. You don’t need to do much other than allow gravity to bring your upper body closer to your lower.
Tips: You can vary how wide you want to spread your legs or even do this on your side or back.
If you stand, sit, drive a lot every day, your lumbar curve we become stiffer and tighter. The kneeling bow rest will help you at any time.
2 The Lying Hip Shift (1 min, 30 sec per side)
When your hips start to hurt in the morning, so will your back.
We rarely HIP SHIFT because it’s rarely encouraged. Would you believe that if you hip shifted every day, your pain would decrease dramatically? This is a great move for anyone who has a lot of discomfort whenever they stand or sit, especially at work.
When you release the stiffness in your hips, you can relieve a lot of pain.
As you can see in the image above, the goal is to tilt your pelvis. Do this by bringing one thigh up to hug while firmly pushing the other leg down against the mattress. This move is a strengthening move (while the Kneeling Bow Rest is a releasing move).
Your pelvis and lower back tighten up as you sleep so you need to stop this from continuing in the morning. The Lying Hip Shift strengthens your weakened hip muscles. They then will become active and stronger. This improves your flexibility and will protect you from pain.
You don’t even need to get out of bed yet at this point and you are already improving your day!
3 The Leaning Hip Shift (less than 1 min)
Now that you are out of bed, this is one more move you need to do.
The goal of the Leaning Hip to to stimulate and activate key muscles of your legs. The more active they are, the more they will protect your back.
To do this move, keep you upper body straight, bend one knee and keep the other leg straight. Keep moving from one leg to the other. You only need to do this for about 1 minute. (Perhaps while you brush your teeth to save time!)
You will immediately feel a pull on your hamstrings & calves. You’ll also feel your hips becoming freer and more mobile. And that is what you want!
This move encourages your hips to becomes increasingly flexible and active. It also stretches your hamstrings. You need to stretch your hamstrings to get rid of your discomfort. It’s a quick and simple lower body workout to get you going properly in the morning.
And there you have it!
In just 3 minutes, your day has just gotten a lot brighter and so has your health.
Remember, if this is your first time doing any such moves, you may not feel the benefit right away. After all you’re pretty tight and weak in these areas.
Once your get in the habit of it, become stronger and take the time to do these 3 simple moves, your discomfort will gradually go with time. Don’t expect a quick fix or a miracle. This is work you must do to get better.
If you need more help with your back, please check out all of the other very helpful and practical resources available here on the Lowbackpainprogram.com. There are over 120 pages of detailed content here to help empower you to help yourself.